By Chidi Nkwopara & Nwabueze Okonkwo
The Department of State Services, DSS, has invited the leader of Biafra Independence Movement BIM, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, to its Owerri office for “a meeting with the State Director.”
Confirming the development to Vanguard on Wednesday night, Chief Uwazuruike forwarded the text message he received from DSS to buttress his claim.
It read: “I am Sampson from DSS office, Imo State Headquarters, Owerri. You are invited to come to DSS Headquarters, Owerri tomorrow (yesterday) for a meeting with the State Director. Time 1200 hours. You can call this number if you need additional information pls(sic).”
Further inquiry by Vanguard showed that the invitation may not be unconnected with a video message that has gone viral, issued by Chief Uwazuruike calling on Ndigbo to “come together and resist the planned RUGA settlement.”
In the video message, which was also made available to Vanguard yesterday, Chief Uwazuruike called on Ndigbo across the globe to “unite and stand against RUGA settlement.”
In the same video also, Chief Uwazuruike, who is also the Founder and Leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, took exception to the position of the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, for responding to the threat issued by northern youths.
He recalled that the youths issued a deadline to the President, to go ahead and implement the RUGA project within 30 days or southerners would be thrown out of the northern states.
In the video, Uwazuruike said: “Chief Nnia Nwodo, being one of the biggest masquerades in Igboland, ought not to be the one to reply the threat. I am also not happy with the position of the World Igbo Congress, especially its statement on the RUGA settlement and the state of the nation.”
While calling on Ndigbo worldwide to “reject the RUGA settlement project in its entirety,” Chief Uwazuruike also advised Igbo leaders to call for a meeting of all Igbo people “to help organise a formidable resistance to the RUGA project in any part of Igboland.”
It was also Uwazuruike’s opinion that “a division, and not restructuring, is what Nigeria needs,” even as he revealed how late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu advised him about his renewed struggle for Biafra, when he started MASSOB in 1999.
“He cautioned me against doing anything that will force the Igbo man into another civil war. I have maintained this non-violent posture till date and I will have no cogent reason to deviate from this,” Uwazuruike said.
Some members of BIM, who reacted to Uwazuruike’s video message described it as “apt and frank, but not explosive and inciting as the one by the northern group that gave the President a marching order and threatened the southerners.”
…BIM on vigilante
Meanwhile, BIM has warned that it would not tolerate any attempt by politicians or group of persons to use its name to achieve selfish interest and that it would not spare anyone caught using its name to intimidate, exploit, extort or attack anyone or group for personal aggrandisement.
BIM’s Anambra North zonal leader, Damian Nzekwe, who gave the warnings in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday, was reacting to speculations that BIM has concluded arrangement to confront and possibly sack members of Okpoko vigilante group in no distant time and forcefully take over their duties.
He described the rumour as baseless, untrue, false and of no effect and attributed it to have emanated from politicians who are opposing the leadership of Okpoko Development Union, which is the employer of the vigilante group.
He regretted that some enemies of Biafra erroneously branded BIM members as criminals and perpetrators of most of the heinous crimes being committed in some parts of Onitsha and by extension Okpoko suburban area.
On the other hand, he alleged that when some dubious people want to exploit or extort their victims, they would introduce themselves as BIM members by way of impersonation to intimidate and frighten their victims and extort them.
He warned that henceforth, anyone caught indulging in such an act would be dealt with accordingly, noting that BIM members are responsible and unarmed persons fighting for the actualisation of Biafra.